Chapter 3 - The Debt of Love: A Life-long Redemption

Chapter 3Cordy was glaring coldly at Kyle. She was certainly disenchanted with him after he abandoned her to save Noel. However, forgiveness notwithstanding, she could afford to listen to an explanation because they had been together for three years. And yet, she felt that asking for one would only demean herself. On the other hand, Kyle turned to look at the other man and paused because he was too good-looking. Kyle soon recognized him as one of the firefighters who had rushed into the hotel last night and saved Cordy. Still, he did not see his face clearly at the time and merely found his stature towering. That was when Cordy said, “Let’s break up, Kyle.” Kyle actually felt an aching over his chest as she declared the end of their three-year relationship, and he wheeled on her with a look of disbelief. Overwhelmed with rage, he bellowed as he pointed at the other man, “Do you even know who he is, Cordy Sachs?! He’s just a firefighter! You’re dumping me for the likes of him?!” John’s eyes twitched ever so slightly—there was contempt and coldness in his gaze. However, he chose to remain there in silence, appearing to have no inclination to leave. “You know very well why we’re breaking up!” Cordy’s cool tone was now showing a tinge of anger. “Everything was clear when you chose to save Noel last night, so don’t treat me like I’m an idiot!” Kyle’s indignant expression stiffened right then, and he had no comeback against that. He stayed silent for a while, myriad emotions tangling in his eyes, though he soon found solace. “Maybe we never should have been together,” he said, looking at her with regret and misery. “You’re so strong and independent, Cordy… I felt inconsequential. I feel stressed when I’m with you. You never needed me.” Cordy watched him in return, and she suddenly smiled despite the numbing pain she felt inside. She met Kyle while they were abroad—she was working as a street musician. He had been young and innocent at the time, his smile was as warm as summer. Cultured and refined, he dropped a generous donation for her performance, and he would come by often to support her afterward. As time went by, these strangers became lovers in another country. She told him that she had a troubled past but he dismissed it, saying that he wanted a future with her. Later, as his family business faced a crisis, his family recalled him to the country as soon as he graduated from university. Cordy returned with him as her career started to take off and both of them promptly joined Jessop Corp, working long nights together, going to various social events or to

cajole any willing investors. They eventually brought Jessop Corp back on track and he used to be grateful, even vowing never to leave her… And now, he was saying that being with her was stressful, and that her strong and independent nature was a mistake? Despite Kyle seeming guilty, he also appeared relieved. “Take care. You can come to me if you’re ever in need, since we’re still friends…” “Save your pity and goodwill! I’m no loser who needs your alms, nor would I ever trust a man who would abandon me when it matters!” Cordy snapped, her tone icy and taunting. “Remember this, Kyle Jessop—I was the one who dumped you! I earnestly wish you would live happily with Noel for the rest of your life and not regret ever choosing her!” Her scolding left Kyle humiliated. It was his fault for abandoning her last night, and there was nothing he could say. And she was now clearly unreasonable, with no way to talk things out with her. Giving her a long look, he then quietly said, “You should rest.” He started to leave when he paused and turned toward John, who returned his gaze with apathy. “I’ve seen too many men like him who have the looks but are penniless,” he growled, indignant from the injustice. “They’re all losers, oily bastards who trick women out of money and pleasure. Don’t fall for his —” Cordy did not want another word from him. “Do I look like a loose woman, Kyle Jessop?!” John tactfully straightened his hair just then. The gesture made his stance obvious. “If you want to end up in the dumps, suit yourself,” Kyle retorted and stormed off, leaving the ward in abrupt silence. “Thank you for helping me to my bed and with Kyle,” Cordy eventually said. “But may I ask you to leave, Mr. Levine?” John nodded. “Sure. Please get some rest, Ms. Sachs.” Still, just as that towering figure was about to leave, he returned to put a stack of tissues near her bed while saying, “If a man feels stressed being with you, it is he who’s lacking—it’s not your fault.” Cordy did a double take as she suddenly found John different from other men. … John’s pace slowed down after he left Cordy’s ward and he whipped out his phone to make a call. “Winston.” “Yes, Mr. Levine?” The response was respectful. “From now on, always prepare another portion of food for the patient staying next to Dicky.” “…Yes, Mr. Levine.” As soon as John hung up, he got a call. Glancing at the caller ID, he greeted, “Bob.” “I heard there’s a fire in your hotel as soon as you return to the country?” Bob Davis teased. “Yeah,” John replied. “The damage must be in the eight figures, right? How are you feeling?” Bob kept going. “It’s good that the fire happened when it did.” “…Hey, you’re not losing it, are you? Why

don’t you hang out with us boys for a bit, get some drinks to douse your sorrows?” “Nope, but I don’t mind joining if you’re celebrating for me instead,” John replied. “That said, I’m not actually free.” Bob was left dumbfounded right then. It had not been that long since they last met, but John had suddenly managed to brush up on his humor?! Bob needed a while to come to his senses. He then asked, “Anyway, isn’t Dicky getting discharged today?” In fact, John only returned because of Richard’s appendicitis, and the party to celebrate John’s return had to be postponed. “Not yet,” James said. “I’m having him stay for another half a month.” “Wait, is Dicky alright?” Bob asked nervously. “Yeah,” John replied flatly. “We’re just staying for fun.” Bob was dumbfounded again—was the hospital some sort of hotel to John?! “Talk to you later.” “Wait, Johnny.” Bob quickly stopped him. “I could bring a psychiatrist to you, take a look…” “Do that for yourself!” John snapped and hung up. He turned to look at the next ward as he did so, pursing his lips before entering his son’s ward.

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